We are thrilled to welcome the sensational young performing artist and pianist Jenny Q Chai to the Ariel Artists roster! Breaking the boundaries of what constitutes a “concert pianist,” Jenny Q Chai combines her formidable performance visions with electronics, projected images, multimedia, and elements of theater to create entire worlds of experience, or as she calls them, “fairy tales for grown-ups.”
Ms. Chai’s uniquely curated programs feature a wide range of music – from Beethoven, Schumann, and Debussy through Cage, Ligeti, Marco Stroppa, and Nils Vigeland – combining music of the past and the present in radical ways that unlock and expand each element, forge connections, and transcend time and genre. All of her performances are marked by her adventurous spirit, abounding wonder, and a radiant joy which she brings to every note and gesture.
Recently having made her Carnegie Hall debut at Zankel Hall, Jenny Q Chai was praised by the New York Times’ Anthony Tommasini for her “resourceful technique and sensitivity” as well as playing that is “admirable for its refinement and directness.” In addition to her Carnegie Hall debut, Jenny has played at New York venues such as (le) Poisson Rouge, Roulette, Symphony Space, and the Stone, and recently made her Chicago debut playing Schumann’s Kreisleriana at the Dame Myra Hess Series.
In addition to her performance career, Jenny Q Chai is the founder and president of FaceArt Music InterNations in Shanghai, CHINA, a contemporary performance space, educational center, and cultural exchange organization dedicated to contemporary music. Ms. Chai played the first contemporary solo piano concert in China last June at the National Performing Arts Center in Beijing; and she recently had the privilege of introducing the concept of prepared piano to a Chinese audience, with the world premiere of Mallet Dance by John Slover in Shanghai Concert Hall. Splitting her time between New York City and Shanghai, Ms. Chai also serves on the Board of Directors for the New York City-based contemporary music organization Ear to Mind.
We’re extremely excited to see what the coming year brings for the phenomenal work of Jenny Q Chai. She is already underway with a major recording project of the piano works of Nils Vigeland for Naxos Records, and has several more spectacular projects to be unveiled over the course of the coming season! Welcome, Jenny!!
Violinist Francesca Anderegg joined Ariel Artists this May, bringing with her a deep passion for contemporary and traditional classical music and an impressive history of respected solo work and collaborations.
Praised for her “rich tone” and “virtuosic panache” by the New York Times and commended for her “astonishing assurance” by the Chicago Sun-Times, the young musician is already well recognized as a rising star in the contemporary classical world.
Violinist Francesca Anderegg
Anderegg’s New York debut was in 2007, when she performed the Ligeti Violin Concerto with the Julliard Orchestra. The New York Times lauded this performance for its “dark, mournful tone”. Anderegg often serves as the concertmaster of contemporary music ensemble AXIOM, and with them led the Miller Theatre’s performance of Elliott Carter’s opera “What Next?,” winning a place on Time Out New York’s top ten classical music events list for 2007.
Based in Minnesota, Anderegg travels frequently and is an active participant in the New York City music scene. She celebrated her Carnegie Hall debut in 2008, performing in Weill Recital Hall as a participant in the Carnegie Hall Professional Training Workshop series with Pamela and Claude Frank. She also regularly performs with the Orchestra of St. Luke’s, and has appeared at major classical venues throughout the city and the United States, as both a soloist and a chamber musician.
Anderegg’s contemporary music performances have also led to impressive collaborations with leading classical musicians in both the United States and Europe. At the Lucerne Festival in 2009, she performed Pierre Boulez’s “Anthèmes II” for Solo Violin and Electronics in collaboration with the Paris-based IRCAM studio. At the Lucerne Festival, she has had leading roles in works by Tristain Murail, Bruno Mantovani, Ivan Fedele, and Kaija Saariaho. At New York’s (le) poisson rouge, she has performed works by John Adams and Magnus Lindberg in concerts attended by the composers.
Anderegg holds a BA from Harvard University, as well as Master’s and Doctor of Musical Arts degrees from The Juilliard School, where she worked with Ronald Copes. Her former teachers have included Robert Mann, Naoko Tanaka, Lynn Chang, and Betty-Jean Hagen. In 2010, Anderegg was awarded the Leonore Annenberg Fellowship in the Performing Arts, a major career grant. Her solo debut CD, containing music by Elliott Carter, George Perle, and Arnold Schoenberg, was released by Albany Records in July 2012. She is on the violin faculty of Interlochen Arts Camp, and is Assistant Professor of Violin at St. Olaf College.
Ariel Artists is honored to be working with Anderegg, and we encourage you to visit the website for exciting news and performance dates as our 2013-2014 events calendar grows!
In this program (a newly-commissioned concert-length piece by composer John Gibson), the piano performance of Oni Buchanan joins and reflects the spoken text of the poem “Uncanny Valley” as performed by its author, poet Jon Woodward. “Uncanny Valley” is a long serial poem in 16 sections, meant to be read out loud, with numerous optional repeats throughout the text. These repetitions act as accumulations of sound, maddening as well as hypnotic, and Gibson’s piece provides a sonic environment in which they can truly blossom. Although the pacing is determined by the two performers, the musical specificity of each section (from Morse code to sine waves to jazz to a brief quote of Schumann) reflects the poem text in ever-different ways. Digital samples triggered by the reader enmesh the piano and spoken text, haunting the music with echoes of itself. Extending outward from the phenomenon of “semantic satiation” (whereby a single word loses all apparent meaning and identity when repeated for even a short duration), this program investigates whether or not the same satiation is possible with phrases, sentences, pairs of verse lines, or musical forms.
In 1970, roboticist Masahiro Mori coined the term “uncanny valley” to describe the emotional and empathic chasm between humans and imperfect human simulacra, a gap created by their imperfection. This program searches out what is most uncanny, and most human, in both language and music.
Listen to some sample excerpts of the full piece:
Video from the world premiere:
Energized by the momentum of their many impressive achievements this past summer and fall, the Meehan/Perkins Duo will be offering a packed spring schedule of one-of-a-kind performances, symposia, and collaborations.
After the summer 2012 premiere of Jonathan Leshnoff‘s Concerto for Two Percussionists and Orchestra with the Round Top Festival Orchestra, Todd Meehan and Doug Perkins announced that they were the proud recipients of a generous Chamber Music America (CMA) grant for a new piece from renowned electro-acoustic composer Tristan Perich as well as a coveted grant from the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation for their performance at Mexico’s Visiones Sonoras Festival this past October.
This coming Saturday, January 19, the Duo will head north to Duluth, Minnesota for a second performance of the Leshnoff concerto, this time led by conductor Dirk Meyer with the Duluth Superior Symphony Orchestra. Writing about the piece after its premiere, The Washington Post remarked that Leshnoff “thinks big, and with its twin virtues of accessibility and architectural coherence, you come away from the concerto feeling that you’ve heard something pleasantly significant.” A video of the concerto’s breathtaking first movement, as played at Round Top, appears below, and the second and third movements can be found on the Meehan/Perkins Duo Vimeo page.
On March 1 and 2, Todd and Doug will visit Waco, Texas for the 2013 Baylor Percussion Symposium, where they will join forces with their old bandmates, So Percussion, for a performance of Iannis Xenakis’ epic Pleiades. The two-day event was organized by Todd, who in addition to his work with Meehan/Perkins Duo is the Baylor Percussion Director, and will also feature talks and masterclasses focused on the music of Iannis Xenakis and Paul Lansky.
Following their visit to Baylor, the Duo will head to the 2013 Fast Forward Austin Festival to premiere Tristan Perich’s new 50-minute work for percussion duo and 1 bit electronics at the always-hip Fast Forward Austin Fest (made possible by the receipt of the CMA grant this past fall).
Finally, on June 16 and 17, the Duo will join Alarm Will Sound and the JACK Quartet as part of the Guggenheim’s Works & Process series for a two-night concert event featuring the works of Pulitzer Prize winning composer Steve Reich. The Duo will perform Reich’s Nagoya Marimbas, a classic in the percussion duo repertoire.
Don’t miss these exciting performances and other offerings of this gifted percussion duo!
Read more about Meehan/Perkins Duo.
Read more about Ariel Artists’ upcoming events.
Blair McMillen, one of the newest additions to our roster, is following up his remarkable inaugural season as an Ariel Artist with a spate of exciting new spring events and performances, building momentum towards an impressive fine for the 2012-2013 year.
Blair’s fall schedule included a sold-out performance as a soloist with the American Symphony Orchestra at Carnegie Hall, and a more intimate engagement at Manhattan’s (le) Poisson Rouge as part of piano supergroup Grand Band. This latter performance resulted in a memorable quip by the New York Times’s Zachary Woolfe, who noted “Grand Band is verily – and I don’t say this lightly – the Traveling Wilburys of New York’s new-music scene.”
This coming Tuesday, January 15, Blair will return with Grand Band to (le) Poisson Rouge, joining Vicky Chow, David Friend, Paul Kerekes, Lisa Moore, and Isabelle O’Connell to play Simeon ten Holt’s “Canto Ostinato” on six keyboards. The piece, considered by many to be the recently-deceased Dutch composer’s magnum opus, is written to accommodate a variable number of keyboard instruments, and it has an unusual degree of openness in its articulation, leaving many elements of the piece to be brought to life by the imaginations and personalities of the artists performing it.
Also this spring, Blair will be working in collaboration with longtime duo partner and acclaimed violinist Miranda Cuckson in several performances and to create pair of recordings. Among the most exciting of these is the new Library of Congress McKim Fund commission of Harold Meltzer’s “Kreisleriana,” which had its world premiere at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. last year. At this 2012 premiere, Cuckson performed on Fritz Kreisler’s very own touring Stradivarius violin, permanently housed in the Library’s collection. Harold Meltzer has recently been revising and adding on to the piece. Blair and Miranda will be performing the new, expanded version on the water beneath the Brooklyn Bridge at the one-of-a-kind Bargemusic, among other venues, this coming February 15. This spring the duo will also perform and record the works of Jason Eckardt, Elliott Carter, and others.
On April 17 and 18, Blair will be performing at Lincoln Center in Ives’ 4th Symphony with the New York Philharmonic, Alan Gilbert, and Joshua Bell. Later that month, Blair will return to (le) Poisson Rouge on April 29 to perform “Chiaroscuro” with fellow pianist Stephen Gosling in the John Corigliano 75th Birthday Celebration. “Chiaroscuro” was written for two pianos tuned one-quarter step apart, and the piece is the opening track on Blair’s critically-acclaimed 2009 recording “Multiplicities.”
Blair’s other performances and engagements for the spring season include appearances at PianoForte Foundation, the University of Chicago, Illinois State University, Vassar College, Amherst College, the Dimenna Center, Columbia University, and concerts with the Albany Symphony, the Bard Conservatory Orchestra, and the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.
Be sure to mark your calendar for one or more of these remarkable upcoming performances by an artist The New York Times has described as “prodigiously accomplished and exciting,” and one of the piano’s “brilliant young stars.”
Explore other upcoming Ariel Artists events.
Learn more about Blair McMillen.